Never did I think that 33-degrees would feel warm, but coming on nearly three weeks of temperatures around 18-degrees during the day with a wind chill of -2 or less, it did! To celebrate, after I fed the critters, I took some time to feed the wild birds and to just watch the sky.
Living so far from anyone, we have a very delicious opportunity to enjoy complete silence -- at least as silent as one gets in the country.
While I crunched along on the icy snow, Waldo, our orange cat, made sure to keep me in sight and to help me with the feeders. As I took the feeders out of trees or off shepherd's crooks, Waldo would scoot up the nearest tree, posing as if he were a cat bird, which, in fact, he was. He'd perch on the most unlikely limbs, bobbing up and down, hanging by his nails and enjoying the reprieve from the bitter cold.
Moose and Anabelle were preoccupied with the Franken-deer they have dragged into the yard, but they paused to chase Lydia, our black and white cat, and to snoop under the feeders to see if there was anything there for puppies. Then, they would return to their cairn, as dogs do.
Feeders filled, I settled on the front steps to watch the sky a little longer. Snow, sigh, is forecasted yet again tonight. I had forgotten, in all the brittle cold, how the sky takes on a nearly silver-grey colour with charcoal clouds resembling sheep and how it all begins to ebb and flow. The sky becomes nearly fluid as the clouds seem to jocky for position, making sure to fill each inch of the sky. Specks of blue slipped in and out of the coming snow fall; the moon began to rise behind the ridge across from the house, but was shielded from view by the flock of clouds.
All was silent except for the infrequent crowing of Petie, our rooster, or the does' bells as they silently settled into their stalls. The guinea, who sleeps with the goats, announced their arrival with her usual "pot-rack, pot-rack, pot-rack!" Hollie lowed, as mother's do, urging Copper to come settle down for the night. A few birds flitted to and from the feeders for one last snack and then, hush, all we could hear was the creek as it giggled and warpled through the ice toward the river.
The dogs and cats clamor to me, stumbling over my feet and settling in my lap and on either side of me. We sat in silence, watching the deer in the few bare, brown spots on the hillside. How long we sat, I do not know. A calm filled me and I was grateful for home, for silence, for time. Slowly, I realized my hands were growing numb from the finger tips up; the dogs were restless, ready for dinner. The cats were eager to begin their night stalk of the mice and rats in the barns. Regretfully, my reverie over, I stand, turn on the porch and enter the back door.